L-citrulline helps prevent muscle fatigue, as it assists in production of energy by increasing the rate of phosphocreatine and ATP production. Citrulline also converts to arginine (the precursor to nitric oxide) in the kidneys and optimizes blood and nutrient delivery to working muscles. Recent research indicates that citrulline supplements can actually increase blood levels of arginine and nitric oxide more effectively than arginine ingestion. Beyond creating incredible pumps, a single pre-workout dose of citrulline has been shown to combat exercise-induced fatigue, increase time to exhaustion, and substantially decrease muscle soreness.
While the benefits of taking citrulline supplements are well defined, as with most supplements, few studies include women, thus little is known of its benefits in this cohort. A most recent study, published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, sought to compare the effects of citrulline malate supplementation on lower body muscular endurance in males and females. It was reported that, although performance benefits with citrulline malate were realized in both groups, females experienced increased torque production and work with citrulline malate compared to males.
ACTION POINT: Males and females, take 6 g of citrulline malate with your preworkout shake approximately 30 minutes preworkout.
Reference: Joshua L Gills, Hocheng Lu, Kimberly Parker, Chris Dobbins, Joshua N Guillory, Braden Romer, David Szymanski, Jordan Glenn. The effects of acute citrulline-malate on lower-body isokinetic performance in recreationally active individuals. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2016 13(Suppl 1):33